On July 20, 2006, the Penguins acquired left wing Nils Ekman from San Jose. Ekman had scored 21 and 22 goals in the previous two NHL seasons. His arrival in Pittsburgh was greatly anticipated.
Ekman fizzled. He only played 34 games due to an elbow injury. He scored just six goals.
But Ekman scored three of those goals in a 4:10 span vs. Tampa Bay on November 13, 2006 at Mellon Arena. That set the Penguins’ record for fastest hat trick until Patric Hornqvist broke it last night by netting thrice in 2:47 at PPG Paints Arena.
The Penguins lost 4-3 in overtime when Ekman ran amok. No Penguin scored besides him.
The Penguins won last night, 6-3, and gave those attending free hats, many of which hit the ice when Hornqvist got his third. Those could be recycled for another giveaway. Pay Hornqvist a bonus.
Ekman never played another NHL game after that ‘06-07 season with the Penguins. Except for 250 seconds against Tampa Bay, he was a bust in Pittsburgh.
Sidney Crosby assisted two of Ekman’s goals, as did current Penguins assistant coach Sergei Gonchar. Colby Armstrong and Ryan Whitney – now both burgeoning media celebrities – also got helpers.